Improving housing market in Richmond

Real estate in Richmond offers potential homebuyers the opportunity to own a house in a metro with an improving economy - a dream that many people may have thought impossible following the recession of the mid-2000s. Housing figures are showing that the real estate market is making steady improvements in its recovery from the housing bust. The number of monthly foreclosures is declining, home prices are up and the volume of property sales has increased.

Housing foreclosures down across the country
Foreclosure rates are down in metros across the United States. NBC 12 reports that foreclosures declined in September 2012. Recent housing figures show that there were only 57,000 completed foreclosures in the nation in September 2012 - down from 83,000 in September 2011 and 59,000 in August 2012.

"Homes lost to foreclosure in September 2012 are down 50 percent since the peak month in September 2010 and 22 percent less than the beginning of the year," said real estate expert Mark Fleming, according to the news source. "While there is significant progress to be made before returning to pre-crisis levels, the trend is in the right direction as short sales, up 27 percent year over year in August, continue to gain popularity."

The news source reports that prior to the housing bust in 2007, the number of completed foreclosures during a month average 21,000. While foreclosure figures are still significantly higher than that, the continued month-over-month decline is showing positive momentum.

One potential reason for the decline in foreclosures is the increased popularity of buying short sales. The distressed-home buying process allows Americans with financial struggles to get out from under their mortgages without entering the foreclosure process.

"Increasingly improving market conditions and industry and government policy are allowing distressed homeowners to pursue refinancing, loan modifications or short sales rather than foreclosures," said economy expert Anand Nallathambi.

Home prices on the rise in Richmond
According to ALTOS Research, the median price of a single-family home in Richmond was $159,745 as of October 26, 2012. This median price is slightly down from October 19, 2012, when the median cost of a single-family home in Richmond was $159,776. However, the cost of a property is much improved since the beginning of 2012, when the median cost was approximately $154,700.